Kestrel was designed by D. Crawford and built by George Lawley & Son at the South Boston shipyard in 1892. In 1899, Kestrel was sold to Samuel Keyser of Baltimore, Maryland. In 1937, James A. Trowbridge of Norton, Connecticut[clarification needed] purchased Kestrel. An overhaul and replacement of parts was done in 1957. Robert P. Scripps of New York purchased the yacht in 1972. The American Maritime Academy on Staten Island purchased the yacht from Scripps. In 1988, the yacht was acquired at auction by John H. Luhrs of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Luhrs had the steam engine completely repaired. In 2009, Luhrs donated Kestrel to the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority.